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League of Humane Voters of New Jersey v. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

ELR Citation: 49 ELR 20031
Nos. A-4630-15T4, (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div., 02/13/2019)

In an unpublished opinion, a state appellate court rejected animal protection groups' challenge to the New Jersey Fish and Game Council's adoption of a black bear management policy that proposed a second annual bear hunt, increased the number of hunting permits, and allowed bow hunting. The groups argued that the policy failed to set "end-point goals" or describe factors to be considered when choosing management tools to be utilized, as required under state law. But the court found that the Council set an identifiable harvest rate and provided a list of its bear management tools along with a discussion of how certain factors influenced the use of certain tools. The groups also argued that the Council's adoption of the policy was arbitrary and capricious, but the court found that the Council acted reasonably and relied on scientific research when it developed the policy. The court therefore upheld the Council's policy.